“Papa Loki”

I spent Tuesday night as a patient in the ER of a Catholic hospital- nothing life threatening, I have just been putting off the removal of vestigial organ structure and I was in some pain.  This had been a regular part of my life for many years, so I didn’t ask for family or friends.  I know how it goes,  go in, get drugged, get an MRI and then surgery (or minor surgery scheduled).
Really not worth troubling anyone over.

So, I was put on morphine for the pain….and in hopes I would sleep.  Instead of sleeping, I found myself in a semi-lucid state of rather boring hallucinations of playing portable games in accordance to the “beeps” and “pings” of hospital equipment in the ER, some really horrid visions of “walking” the ER and seeing children wrapped in white sheets covered in blood (def. hallucination, walking on morphine was laughable)… and then there was Loki.

Papa Legba.  If the artist drew the coat as *I* saw it, they'd still be drawing... (artist unknown)

Papa Legba. If the artist drew the coat as *I* saw it, they’d still be drawing… (artist unknown)

So, it’s a Catholic hospital, he approached me like an old friend (Not “Scary God Mode” in which Tyr seems to prefer), red hair, green eyes, little goatee-  you know, typical UPG Loki….and he sits down and transforms fast as a matchflame into a young black man wearing the most colorful and spectular jacket/hat combo I had ever seen, every type, pattern, and color of fabric along with ribbons and embroidery… It wasn’t tacky, there were universes in that fabric.  I could have spent days just looking at his damned coat.  His hair was full with short braids that went long to his shoulders, and he, well, was just still Loki.

Like any other hospital visitor, he just sat next to my bed and made what felt like small talk.  I know I spoke to him about why he decided to look like Papa Legba, and he said something to the effect of “This is a Catholic place, Being Legba is being Catholic…” or something of the sort.  We talked about archetypes- how some Gods like Skadi have no archetype in the warm regions, and Tyr’s personality tends to keep him looking pretty much the same regardless and with similar naming conventions.  But other Gods, the shapeshifters, the archetypes- they were different.  It wasn’t their name or their personality- but their FUNCTION that defined them.  For someone who can change into a fish, a falcon, a fox, and a horse- what is it to change to suit a culture or people?  To me, he spoke like “my” Loki- but he looked like the Island God….and I realized the closeness of being in the ER and Legba’s function in Vooduon/Santeria/Yoruba to petition to Baron Samedi on behalf of the dying.

Those who worship Papa Legba say he is the oldest of the Gede….the same is said of Enki who is worshiped by the ancient Babylonians were much Loki-lore has been traced to be too similar for coincidence.

Hel is Loki’s daughter in our religion…there is nothing to indicate that Loki couldn’t fulfill a similar role to some parts of the Heathen community- the God of Changes comes before the God of Death.

He did say to me, “Everything will change.”- because when he shows up, it’s the side-effect.  Loki is change and his very nature seems to warp reality….but also common trope in Lokean communities is “Everything will change- but if you wait long enough, everything will be better than you could have imagined in the end.” when Loki is near.

Much preferable to Hellenics/Discordians with their chaos archetype Goddess Eris: “Eris will change everything- who knows if you’ll get hurt?  Try to distract her by praying she focuses on someone else!”

Then, I find out this morning a relative is dying- he will not make it this year, he might not make it today- I think he might make it through the weekend…maybe. He had the heart attack before my ER visit, but only today I learned his condition is deteriorating.

My reality has been “in flux” since I came out of the ER yesterday morning, I’m in the process of moving so new things are always popping up in addition to my now-additional health issue.

Somehow, the connection was made in my mind and heart that perhaps, when the two realms of life and death are too close that some people can sense it- and that having someone who is linked to you close enough by blood or frith walking that razor-thin edge of life/death can have greater consequences.  I live closer than any of the rest of my section of the family. I feel like a “representative” or a switchboard operator.

In American monotheistic culture- death is anathema, but the Norse/Germanics were a bit more realistic.  I spent my childhood playing around tombstones of my ancestors, and so did most other Deitsch or Baltic children I know as well.

The connection between Papa Legba and Baron Samedi is close and necessary, and the connection between Loki and Hel is that of father and daughter- with no indication of estrangement.

Hela walks the halls of hospitals, and in Catholic hospitals in a city full of people from The Islands, many prayers are said to Legba by and for the sick and to Samedi- all hospitals are holy ground to Death in all his/her forms.

So, here I am…  my minor illness has shown me that both worlds “shake” and vibrate when the passing time is close for one you know well or one who is close by to you.    The shaking ends when the choice is made one way or the other, Does he choose to fight or does he choose to die?

….and I found myself in the position of being the only person who could start the process of obtaining an existing deed for a funeral plot- that if it will not be needed this week, will be needed soon enough.

In true Lokean fashion, some family members feel grateful…. others are rather pissed in saying “HE’S NOT DEAD YET”

He doesn’t have a liver
his colon is perforated.
His lungs are filled with blood
This is his second major heart attack in a month.

Death doesn’t care that he’s “young”.  He’s just going to die-don’t pray to save the suffering, ask for suffering to end and for peace to be had, and for the last memories to be pleasant of this place before you move on to wherever you go.

I made my peace, I don’t think I will see him alive again unless he chooses to live, but I believe he chose to die years before we reconnected- and it’s not my place to change his mind.

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22 Responses to ““Papa Loki””

  1. I’ve been watching you online, and picked up your scent yesterday after 7pm, meant to call you but got side tracked. Good to see you still dragging on.

  2. moonfire2012 Says:

    I’m really glad you’re ok, though I don’t know you. So sorry about your relative. Morphine scares me just for that reason, hallucinations. I’m psychic enough being in good health and without drugs. That’s a really cool vision of Legba/Loki though, at least that made it worth it. I have a similar attitude that if I ever get to the point where fighting isn’t going to work anymore, I just want to get out of this prison body and be free already.

    • I think if more people shared a healthy attitude regarding death and dying, we would have a healthier society!

  3. Loki reminds me of Q from Star Trek NG when it comes to wearing costumes and identities.

  4. ladyimbrium Says:

    I think this just grazed the edges of some very odd personal understandings of mine. I’m sorry that things are so unsettled and uncomfortable around you right now, and I’m glad you shared this story.

  5. Thank you- everyone, for you kind words. This post wasn’t received very well by some more…er…”folkish” people.

    However, I DID make it expressly clear that I was on a lot of morphine at the time, so they can grumble all they like. I saw/heard what I saw/heard and it comforted me and gave me insight.

    It also forced me to research a little- generally, if I can validate things I’ve heard/seen in a UPG by research then I am less affected by people’s non-constructive negativity (which was on facebook- they didn’t post any comments on this blog itself- I do approve all comments, positive or negative-within reason)

    • Wait, what? What folkish people? Locals or Asshatru?

      • The latter. They aren’t even constructive- usually just a “ffs” or the equivalent of “you suck” can be enough to throw me off. However, it would be different if they started a dialogue as to WHY they feel that way.

        I have found from other bloggers/artist that it’s pretty common scenario…and even if they did explain the cause of their butthurt, it likely wouldn’t lead to intelligent discussion, anyway.

      • Oh, they’re just trolls. They don’t want intelligent exchange or they’d seek it

      • You really know how to make me smile. 🙂

      • Glad to hear it! You gotta wonder what bothered them most: that you had a Loki UPG or that Loki was, gasp! black!

      • With Ass-atru? You know it’s because he was black. How many people hate Obama and call him “Kenyan”…but said nothing about McCain being born in Panama….

  6. Oh yeah, morphine comes from poppies, of course; an Odin plant along with shroooooms!
    Mind altering substances are used by many cultures to seek visions. Sure, with heathens it was mostly alcohol to reach divine madness but still… And you weren’t even trying

    • That was brought up, oddly enough, in the UPG… Something to the affect of Loki/Legba saying He “enjoyed poppies” and I was lucky “not to put on any of that chemical shit this time.” I just don’t really encourage the use of strong/dangerous substances to intentionally induce UPG (liability!!!!)

  7. I hope you are better now.
    I cannot say much about any connections between substances and UPG. I think it works for some.
    For me even a little alcohol kills it or any communication ability. I have to have my head clear to connect or see. In other words, to have an UPG I have to be sober.

    • I prefer to be sober, personally. I think it only happened because I was in a place where that aspect of him is “called” frequently and I was receptive in that drugged state. Being in an ER is seldom a positive-energy situation, and he only “visited” for a short period of time just to provide comfort. There were no “Earth-shattering revelations”- just, that my Gods care. 🙂

      • I can imagine! I was in ER under the morphine once, before I delivered my daughter, and nobody came. It was nice of Him to do this for you! 🙂

      • I’m sure if you were in a hospital where more people were praying to an aspect of Him, He would have had more visibly present 🙂

  8. Thank you for sharing this! Glad your doing ok and recovering well. 🙂 Ive had a little “push” to get to know Papa Legba for the past couple of years from Loki! When i was going to visit New Orleans in Sept of 2012, i had a very distinct message to “pay attention” to Papa Legba. This blog is the second mention ive seen in the past 2 weeks that reference Loki & His inter-workings with Papa Legba, i have goosebumps…

    • I don’t personally believe in “raw synchronicity”… If you have had the same “call” in a short period of time, you better get researching! 🙂 I’ve learned a great deal from Facebook groups (oddly enough)…. For me, I keep all personal pictures off my profile so “race” is not an issue, for some people, that is not possible. Regardless, in reading, take everything with a grain or six of salt, and throw the “useless” bits over your shoulder. The Legba/Loki connection seems to be moving forward pretty rapidly. My personal hypothesis? Heathen Lokeans being treated poorly for so long by our own religion learning another aspect of our patron in a faith where He is honored and respected highly.

      We can learn how to be as we are without apology and “bring back” that confidence and knowledge to our own communities.

      Knowing that the Archetype is vital and not EVERYONE hates us….well, that’s something Lokeans need to put forth even more effort to change.

      We’ve come a HUGE distance in Heathen acceptance, but I think the “call” to study Legba will grant us all a little more dignity in our respective paths!
      🙂

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